Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Trinity Christian captures Mason-Dixon tournament title by defeating C-B in 5 sets

BLACKSVILLE — The Mason-Dixon conference tournament concluded on Thursday night in Blacksville with two local-area schools battling in the championship as Clay Battelle and Trinity Christian met in the finals.

The Warriors downed the Cee-Bees 3-2 to capture the title.

C-B and South Harrison opened the evening in the first of two semifinals. The Hawks ended the Cee-Bees season in the regional final in 2022 and although this wasn’t a season-ending match, each team fought like it could be their last.

The Cee-Bees won the opening two sets 25-11 and 25-12 after trailing early on in each and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match. Positive responses in both sets after giving up a lead allowed the hosts to take an important set lead going into the third.

In the third set, it would be SH to make a comeback as C-B shot out to a 13-3 lead and looked to be headed toward a sweep but a 13-4 run forced a timeout from the hosts as their lead vanished to just one point, 17-16. The Hawks didn’t allow the huddle to change anything, however, and got back into the match with a 25-19 victory in set three.

The Hawks carried their momentum into the fourth set and jumped out to a lead midway through, 14-11. It grew to 18-12, forcing a timeout for the Cee-Bees as they faced a fifth and final set if they couldn’t turn it around soon.

The timeout worked in their favor though, closing the match out with a 13-4 run that secured a spot in the championship match. The Cee-Bees won the fourth set 25-22 and the match 3-1.

In the second semifinal, Trinity Christian and Valley High battled for the right to meet the hosting Cee-Bees in the championship match of the Mason-Dixon conference volleyball tournament.

It was all TCS from the opening whistle as it earned a 3-0 sweep over the Lumberjills 25-14, 25-18, and 25-13 and setting up a meeting between the top-two seeds and Monongalia County foes. A combination of strong offense and a solid defensive effort saw the Warriors keep Valley in check throughout, denying any chance for a swing in momentum.

The final match of the tournament began with each team bringing high energy and effort to the court. The Cee-Bees enjoyed an early lead 6-4 and continued to build on it. Suddenly, a 7-2 scoring run saw the lead at 13-6.

The hosts wouldn’t look back in the first set, taking it 25-15 for an early advantage in the championship match.

The Warriors came out of the break and jumped out to an early lead at 10-6 in the second set after dropping the first, and never looked back from that point. The Cee-Bees made a surge midway through that cut into the lead and forced TCS into a timeout, but the response out of the huddle was strong and the Warriors were able to keep the hosts in check and tie the match up 1-1 with a 25-17 win in the second set.

The end of the second set carried over into the third for the Warriors, jumping out to a 6-1 lead early on. The gap floated around the five-point mark for TCS for most of the set as any chance for C-B to steal momentum was denied. Despite getting as close as three points at 14-11, the hosts were unable to overcome the deficit and the Warriors took a 2-1 lead in the match after taking set three 25-14.

The Cee-Bees trailed early in the fourth set, needing to win to force a decisive fifth. They battled back to take a 14-11 lead that forced TCS into a timeout. C-B would continue its momentum out of the timeout and hold the lead of 2-3 points for the rest of the fourth set, eventually winning 25-20 and forcing a fifth set, played to 15 with the winner being crowned Mason-Dixon conference tournament champions.

The two teams traded points to open the fifth set but it would be TCS to break the deadlock and score three straight to force a C-B timeout trailing 6-3.

The Warriors broke the huddle but held onto its momentum, grabbing two more points to lead 8-3. The Cee-Bees weren’t done, however, and fired off three straight points themselves to force TCS into a timeout with the score at 8-6 and giving themselves some life in the match.

After a timeout, the Cee-Bees drew level at nine, flipping the momentum back in their favor. However, just as fast as C-B flipped the momentum, the Warriors did the same. They closed the fifth set on a 6-1 scoring run to capture the championship over Clay Battelle in the final set of the tournament 15-10.